Writing Motivation For The People Who Can’t Write Often Enough
Before I give you writing motivation tips, I’m going to make you hate me.
I don’t get writer’s block at all, ever. I can write a 2,000-word article in one hour without using an outline.
Catchy headlines ooze out of my brain. I have too many ideas, not too few. I don’t struggle to find the right words. It’s as if the right words are hunting me down like I’m a fugitive.
Oh, and I also know exactly what you’re thinking.
You don’t have enough writing motivation. Not even close. You feel like the gap between where you are and where you want to be is so wide, trying often doesn’t make sense.
You’re in one of three categories:
- You don’t write at all – You read blog posts like these, only to do absolutely nothing with the information
- You write in ‘fits’ and ‘spurts’ – But never enough to get your writing career off the ground, not even close. At least your not the next person.
- You’re a perfectionist – You have a bunch of unpublished drafts. You can’t bring yourself to finish anything because it’s never good enough.
Ok, now I’m done rubbing salt in your wounds.
I do have solutions for you.
You can become like me.
See, I used to be just like you.
I really didn’t have writing motivation right away. I procrastinated, read the blog posts without doing the work, and found myself wishing I could become a writer but thinking it was a pipe-dream.
Now? Like I said, absolute beast mode, daily, without tiring.
Do you want these writing superpowers?
Let’s jump in.
The Cornerstone of Writing Motivation – Answer This Question
This is going to sound like a dumb question, but it’s important.
Because the answer will determine whether you should pursue a writing career or just quit.
Do you like to write?
Is it enjoyable for you?
Even when I was just starting out, I liked writing. It was fun. Sure, parts were frustrating, but I enjoyed it.
Does that make sense?
If I was really good at writing but, for some reason, didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t write.
I have to get this out of the way in almost every blog post because some of you seem to think writing is the gateway to wealth or something. I don’t know who sold you that, but…no.
Only write if you…like to write. No writing motivation can save someone who doesn’t enjoy it.
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Whenever you worry about how long it will take to get your writing career off the ground, find a writer you admire who has a blog.
Visit their archives.
You’ll notice the same thing every time. A minimum of five to likely 10 plus years of archives.
I banged my head against the while trying to gain popularity for about four years…and then my platforms exploded.
Your time will come. You need time to get better. It will take a few years. But you can get really, really, really good.
I remember I once heard one of Eminem’s first mixtapes — legendary top five rapper ever Slim Shady himself. It was pure trash. Horrible.
You’re supposed to suck right now. It’s okay! You will be good, if you practice, I promise.
Want more proof?
You’re gonna get a kick out of what I show you next.
Read This (But Don’t Laugh too Hard at me, PUHLEASE)
I break this out every once in a while because it’s a great source of writing motivation.
But. Ugh. It embarrasses the hell out of me.
I know some people don’t think I ever sucked at writing. But I have proof, here it is:
“I remember when I was young how thrilling, and terrifying it was to go walk up to a girl and talk to her. When I was young I would describe a girl with phrases like “she is really pretty” or “she is beautiful”. When I say young I mean grade school days, because not too long after that things began to change. I’m not sure exactly how old I was, but I estimate that around the age of 13 was when I first watched a pornographic film. I talk a lot about the cognitive functioning of the brain and how neural pathways are built constantly by one’s behaviors, especially is the behavior is repetitive.”
I mean seriously, what the fuck is that?
That, ladies and gentleman, is something I wrote.
I have a masochistic joy in reading my old work.
I analogize it to when you’re exercising a lot. You don’t notice how much better shape you’ve gotten into…until you see an old picture of you and it startles you.
Rack up a catalog of work — six months is all you need — and you’ll notice that change. It’s a great way to content with Ira Glass’s famed taste gap:
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you […] It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. ”
When you look at your old work, you realize how much of that gap you’ve actually closed.
How to Get Everything You Want Without Trying
You want the success part of writing, badly. But, until you do the work, you’ll never get it.
Funny enough, if you just focus on the process itself, you’ll get all the results you wanted anyway without feeling like you had to exert yourself to get them in a direct way.
In other words, when you just work on writing your best stuff, opportunities come to you.
I obverse writing groups. Mostly, people are overly worried about gimmicks, little promotion strategies, basically anything from just writing their best stuff. Me? I just write.
By just writing, I get what they try to get through gimmicks:
- Top-tier publications ask for my permission to publish content. I don’t pitch anyone
- When the opportunity to monetize my writing came around, I had 100+ articles available to use
- People I look up to now read my work
“Become so good they can’t ignore you” is a cliche that’s truer than you’ll ever know.
Do This, Even if it’s Not Very Good
For whatever reason…
Publishing a book seems to get a huge monkey off your back — like King Kong sized.
It lets you know you’re serious.
Write consistently for 6-12 months, and publish a book that won’t be very good or sell well, but will be all the evidence you need that you’re a legit writer.
For my personal standards, my first book is garbage. But, when it’s all said and done, it will be more important than every other book I write combined.
“Your first book is for the trash.”
Sign up for Self-Publishing School. It’s one of the best online courses ever made, has a 90 + % completion rate, and if you follow the steps, you will publish a book.
Oh yeah, that reminds me.
Put Your Money Where Your Words Are
If you haven’t already, buy an online writing course.
Yes, some people do buy online courses and still do nothing with them, but an online course can shorten your learning curve and give you 10x the writing motivation you’re able to conjure up on your own.
Jon Morrow’s guest blogging certification program is great. It’ll teach you how to write blog content.
People who learn how to write blog content first can learn to write almost anything else later — the opposite isn’t true.
Learning how to blog teaches you discipline, which is about 99 percent of what it takes to become a great writer.
Maybe I’ll create a writing course one day, who knows?
If SHE Can Do It, You Can Definitely Do It
I love picking on E.L. James — author of 50 Shade of Grey. I do it lovingly, though, because she is the perfect example of the attitude you should have as a writer.
From what I heard, the prose itself is terrible. Doesn’t matter, though. She hit the nerve of secretly horny women all across America and she gets to cry herself to sleep in a pile of money.
What lessons for writing motivation can you draw from this:
- “You never know” – If E.L. can do it, maybe you can too
- Pretty writing is worthless – So many people want to be pretty writers. Broke-ass technically gifted writers populate the shelves of Barnes and Nobles. Bloggers and writers who know marketing, human nature, and psychology are 10x more popular. Because 50 Shades hits that nerve, the prose itself doesn’t matter. You can learn how to write popular content without being that great of a writer.
- Hustle can payoff – Apparently, James wrote a bunch of stories on a Twilight fan-fiction site, which lead to the popularity of her book. Sometimes making it as a writer has less to do with writing than it does the pure hustle. Just publishing a lot is a major part of the battle.
Instantly Jump To the Top 10% of All Writers Everywhere
Sign up to the Medium Partner Program and make $1 from your writing.
You are now in the top 10% of all writers, ever.
Add on top of that the people who want to write, but never do, into that equation and you’re in the top 1%.
Most writers make zero. But now there are many opportunities to make a little bit of change.
It’ll make you feel like you’re more serious about your craft.
Again, if you practice at it, publish a lot, and persist, you can eventually make more than just chump change.
The process is simple:
- Publish – Like, actually hit the publish button
- Iterate – Just watch what other writers do and try to implement it. Increase your observational skills
- Truly practice – You can write 100 blog posts without actually practicing. People do this when they stubbornly write their own way without ever trying to adopt new writing techniques. Don’t be this person.
Understand The Most Misunderstood Aspect of Practice
Most people suffer in life, and especially writing, because they think like employees.
Example – I noticed some people in the peanut gallery of a Facebook group for writers talking about how the fact that while a certain writer made $1,000 in a month, the number of hours it took to make that $1,000 was less than minimum wage.
While technically true, people who think this way don’t understand what entrepreneurs and investors know. They think like wage earners.
If you thought like an entrepreneur you’d realize:
- Doing work for little to no money can build a foundation for a thriving platform and business. It’s because I wrote free content for years that I now earn money.
- Skills and platform sizes compound exponentially. That writer who earned $1k is building a following, which means that over time, his posts will get higher views for the same amount of work. His skills and platform will grow like compound interest in a bank account. My views from the 8 months of 2019 are more than all previous years combined. People are plagued by a fundamental misunderstanding of power laws.
- “Work to learn, not for money” this is a quote from Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Writers with a wage earner’s mentality think too transactionally. Learning and building your platform isn’t a ‘tit for tat’ game. You work, often for free, upfront to get the skills. The skills are your currency. Once you know how to write well, you’ll never go broke again.
Speaking of the entrepreneur’s attitude.
You’re in the Business of Writing
Do you have to convince yourself to go to work every day?
No, you need to get paid, so you work.
Taking the esoteric nature out of your writing career and focusing like it’s your job will help you build a writing career.
It’s called a writing career for a reason.
Why are you treating your writing like a hobby if you want it to be your profession? Why aren’t you being a professional about it?
I knew I was going to eventually make it, even when I didn’t have the money or results to show for it.
Because I was a relentless professional about it.
Stop whining so much. Write. Hit publish. Nobody is going to laugh at you, let alone even care or read your work (yet).
You say you want to write for a living, right?
You say you want to do this forever?
Then, do it.